He made the accusations in a since-deleted Facebook post.

Out of the all the world leaders to have reacted the worst to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro is definitely up there. The Brazilian president has repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of the virus, and joined protests attempting to end the lockdown.

And he recently attacked the World Health Organisation (WHO), claiming that it encourages childhood homosexuality and masturbation. In a Facebook post, which has since been deleted, he wrote: “This is the World Health Organization whose advice on coronavirus some people want me to follow.

“Should we follow their education policy guidelines, too? For children zero to four years old: satisfaction and pleasure when touching their bodies, masturbation…. For children four to six years old: a positive gender identity… masturbation in early childhood, same-sex relations…. Nine to 12 years old: first sexual experience.”

Bolsonaro’s claims had no source, but appeared to be referencing a 2010 guide called Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe, which had been published by Germany’s Federal Centre for Health Education and the WHO’s European office.

France24 reports that the guide briefly mentions that behaviour such as touching themselves and curiosity about sexuality is normal in children, but unlike what Bolsonaro claims, the guide doesn’t encourage the behaviour. The Business Insider backed up France24, saying the guide “is explanatory and does not encourage masturbation or homosexuality.”

Recent reports say that Brazil has the tenth highest rate of coronavirus in the world, with the most recent figures saying the country has over 97,000 cases, with over 6,700 deaths.

Bolsonaro’s unhinged rant against the WHO is not surprising given his objections to LGBTQ rights. He has said he’d rather his son die in an accident than be gay, and in an interview with Playboy, he said he “would be incapable of loving a homosexual son.”

He added: “If a gay couple came to live in my building, my property will lose value. If they walk around holding hands, kissing, it will lose value!”

He also claimed that he doesn’t want his country to become a “gay tourism paradise.” In an interview with Exame magazine, he said: “If you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for your life.

“But we can’t let this place become known as a gay tourism paradise. Brazil can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism. We have families.”

His comments were widely condemned, with David Miranda, one of the few openly LGBTQ politicians in Brazil, saying: “This is not a head of state – this is a national disgrace. He is staining the image of our country in every imaginable way.”